Iowa Update: James Hinchcliffe rolling along in Iowa

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Elevated to a front row start after pole sitter Helio Castroneves’ engine penalty, James Hinchcliffe promptly took the lead from Will Power on the opening lap and has been able to stay there throughout the first half of the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Hinchcliffe maintained his lead through pit stops under yellow after a debris caution at Lap 38, which caused him to lose a six-second advantage on the high-banked short oval. But after the race went back green on Lap 52, Hinchcliffe got back to building up his lead in the early stages of the stint.

Marco Andretti tried to stay within striking distance of Hinchcliffe in the second stint, but soon lost second position to Graham Rahal at Lap 105. A short time later, green flag pit stops began around Lap 115 and Hinchcliffe cycled back into the lead after stopping at Lap 117.

Rahal has stayed in second place, while Andretti has kept third spot. Simon Pagenaud, who vaulted 20 spots to a fifth-place finish last year at Iowa is fourth, and Oriol Servia is giving Panther’s No. 4 car a good run in fifth position.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.